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Looper (2012)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi  |  28 September 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 400,918 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 656 user | 584 critic | 44 from Metacritic.com

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Old Joe's Wife (as Summer Qing)
Gat Man


In the year 2044, a man working for a group of killers called "Loopers" (they work for the mob and kill people who are sent blindfolded back in time from the year 2074 by their bosses) recognizes a victim as himself. He hesitates resulting in the escape of his older self. Written by malachmcfreak

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hunted by your future. Haunted by your past. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

28 September 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Looper: Asesinos del futuro  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,801,552 (USA) (28 September 2012)


$66,468,315 (USA) (28 December 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In Looper, Jeff Daniels plays Abe, who is Joe's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) boss, but also acts as a mentor. Their characters shared a similar mentoring relationship in The Lookout (2007), where Jeff Daniels plays Joseph Gordon-Levitt's roommate who helps him cope with a disability. See more »


Late in the movie, when they are in the field, there are rows of some crop (maybe peanuts) then in another scene, the field is freshly plowed. Then there is grass or corn shown in the field. See more »


[first lines]
Joe: Time travel has not yet been invented. But thirty years from now, it will have been. It will be instantly outlawed, used only in secret by only the largest criminal organizations. It's nearly impossible to dispose of a body in the future... I'm told. Tagging techniques, whatnot. So when these criminal organizations in the future need someone gone, they use specialized assassins in our present called "Loopers." And so, my employers in the future nab the target, they zap them back to...
See more »


Referenced in Honest Trailers: Dark Knight Rises (2012) See more »


Street Legal (The Face of the Crowd)
Written by Nathan Johnson
Performed by Nathan Johnson and The Cinematic Underground
Courtesy of Choplogic Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Refreshingly original
27 September 2012 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Sitting here the day after viewing Rian Johnson's Looper, parts of it are still falling in to place. Standing out amongst this years crop of mostly underwhelming sequels and comic book adaptations, Looper thunders onto the screen, showing, much like Inception did two years ago, that there is a place in 2012 for fresh material and just how good it can be when it's done right.

The film tells the story of Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a hit-man for an organised crime syndicate tasked with assassinating targets sent from the future. After being confronted with his future self (Bruce Willis) and failing to perform, Young Joe is forced to track down Old Joe and finish the job before being tracked down himself by the nefarious mob led by Abe (Jeff Daniels). However there is much more to the story than the basic premise, and Johnson isn't afraid to keep details close to his chest until later in the film than most movies of this type, so I won't spoil them here.

While certainly paying subtle homage to its predecessors, Looper is a stunningly original sci-fi masterpiece, vastly superior to any of the higher profile action releases this year. While certainly made on a much larger playing field than Johnson's previous work (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), there is still a small-scale, independent feel to the film, and it benefits from clearly staying completely under the control of the young director. Delivering excitement sprinkled with thoughtful themes of personal sacrifice, he offers us much to chew on.

Johnson understands that a successful action film doesn't need an explosion every ten minutes, and allows ample time for developing character and story, something which will likely divide audiences. Looper is very deliberately constructed, and after the highly charged opening establishing the intricate time-travel premise and direction of the plot, Johnson scales back the action almost too much as he ambitiously juggles the many and varied story elements he has created. Thankfully, any weakness in the middle of the film is largely overshadowed as Johnson launches the third act with such ferocity that the stark change of pace leaves you breathless.

Despite the problems in the middle of the film, Looper overcomes its flaws purely by being that rare beast in Hollywood nowadays, the totally original script. Not an adaptation, not a sequel or remake, but a fresh idea from the mind of an immensely talented young film-maker. In a perfect world, Looper would be the game changer it deserves to be, slapping Hollywood studios across the face and announcing that not everything has to be a PG-13 franchise based on a comic book. It's unlikely that this will the case, and it remains to be seen whether or not the film will even be a success, but it's encouraging to see that there are young auteurs at work who are fighting to craft new and exciting stories, even if we only get to see the results every year or two.


172 of 283 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
future guys should just send their kills to the moon awkemp
I only have 1 major problem with the ending... Filaipus
SEQUEL!!! marston325
Temporal analysis of Looper republished mjyoung-2
SO MANY PROBLEMS! Robert_Hartley
Why send people to past, if you want to kill them? msec109
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